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ATTOCK, April 4: President General Pervez Musharraf on Friday said a vibrant economy and strong defence were key elements for security, peace and development of a country and Pakistan was making rapid strides in strengthening its economy.

He was talking to officers and jawans at the colonel commandant installation ceremony at the Azad Kashmir Regimental centre, Manser Cantonment.

The president said that unswerving faith in Allah, high standards of professionalism and devotion to duty complemented with adequate weaponry and equipment were the reasons for the qualitative edge that Pakistan armed forces possessed. He said the armed forces had proved their capability of defending the motherland during the recent escalation by India.

“Our desire for a peaceful solution of all outstanding issues, including the core issue of Kashmir, through a meaningful dialogue should on no account be misinterpreted as a sign of weakness,” the president remarked.

President Musharraf and AJK President Sardar Mohammad Anwar Khan, who is also the outgoing colonel commandant, pinned the badges of the rank to the shoulders of Lt-Gen Javed Hassan to formally install him as the new colonel commandant of the AK Regiment.

Lt-Gen Hassan said he would do his best to enhance the professionalism of the AK Regiment.